Blueberry French Toast Casserole

There’s not one word more perfect than “unbelievable” to describe this overnight blueberry french toast casserole. Perfect make-ahead recipe for busy mornings!

Unbelievable Blueberry French Toast Casserole! This is the perfect crowd-pleasing make ahead recipe for busy mornings. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now THIS is french toast! Made with chunks of crusty bread, sweet blueberries, lots of brown sugar, a sweet egg-y custard, assembled in a baking pan, and topped with brown sugar cinnamon streusel.

There’s enough goodness to make your entire family happy. And then some.

Unbelievable Blueberry French Toast Casserole! This is the perfect crowd-pleasing make ahead recipe for busy mornings. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This casserole is the definition of comfort food. I made it for my friends Kristin and Chris who just welcomed baby girl Keira Elizabeth to the world. Guess I should’ve used strawberries, huh? Oh well. I prepped the french toast the night before and brought the dish to them the next morning after baking it for about 45 minutes. That’s the beauty of this breakfast… it’s designed to be made ahead of time.

It’s designed to MAKE LIFE EASIER!

I typically use challah bread when I make french toast– either in traditional form or as a casserole. You can use sourdough bread or french bread too. Homemade or store-bought, whichever is easiest. Even homemade honey-oat bread would be fantastic. No matter what type of bread you use– make sure it’s crusty. Day-old and a little stale. Bread that’s been sitting out a day or two (and therefore has lost some moisture) will absorb much more of the egg custard.

Speaking of the egg custard. What you’ll make is a thick mixture of eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon will go into the custard AND in the streusel on top. The cinnamon soaking into the bread is phenomenal!

For that creamy custard taste, I use 8 eggs total and a little over 2 cups of whole milk. Whole milk is key; I don’t suggest a lower fat milk. Even half-and-half would do. You want a luxurious, thick custard. As always, I use Eggland’s Best eggs here. Not only am I an official brand ambassador of this well respected company, I’m also a huge fan of the quality and taste of their eggs. Always have been!

Sally's Baking Addiction | Overnight Blueberry French Toast Casserole

You’ll cut the bread up into cubes, pour the custard overtop, and stick the whole pan in the refrigerator. During this time, the crusty bread soaks up the cinnamon spiced egg custard, imparting flavor and moisture into the dish as a whole. You can leave it in the refrigerator anywhere from overnight down to 3-4 hours. I find the longer the bread soaks, the tastier the casserole. So, put the refrigerator to work!

Unbelievable Blueberry French Toast Casserole! This is the perfect crowd-pleasing make ahead recipe for busy mornings. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

During the last few minutes of fridge-time, prepare a brown sugar streusel topping. This is like icing on the cake. The streusel topping is made from equal parts brown sugar and flour, a dose of cinnamon, and cold butter. Emphasis on the cold! The butter is cut into the other 3 ingredients using a pastry blender. Alternatively, you can use two forks or even your fingers.

Sprinkle it over the soaked bread and bake until golden brown. This is the kind of breakfast you make on the weekend not only to gobble up with friends and family, but to smell it as it bakes. I always thought baking banana bread was the best aroma from the oven but this… oh man. It’s even better.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast Casserole-- make ahead breakfast brunch recipe found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

There’s so much texture and flavor, but I think the best part of this overnight french toast is the juicy blueberries. They pop and burst, leaving sweet blueberry juice in between all the cracks and crevices of the casserole.

Unbelievable Blueberry French Toast Casserole! This is the perfect crowd-pleasing make ahead recipe for busy mornings. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Fill your plate and top it all with maple syrup, butter, fresh fruit, or a shower of confectioners’ sugar. There’s no wrong way to eat this unbelievable goodness! Just as long as you go back for seconds.

Print

Unbelievable Blueberry French Toast Casserole

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 9 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 12
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

There’s not one word more perfect than “unbelievable” to describe this overnight blueberry french toast casserole. Perfect make-ahead recipe for busy mornings!


Ingredients

  • 1 (12-14 ounce) loaf french bread, sourdough bread, or challah*
  • 1 cup (180g) fresh or frozen blueberries*
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (540ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract

Streusel Topping

  • 1/3 cup (69g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (42g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 Tablespoons (86g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • optional: extra blueberries, fresh fruit, maple syrup, and/or confectioners’ sugar for topping

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9×13 inch pan with butter or spray with nonstick spray. Slice then cut the bread into cubes, about 1 inch in size. Spread cubes into the prepared baking pan and top evenly with blueberries. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Pour over the bread. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and stick in the refrigerator for 3 hours – overnight. Overnight is best.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Remove pan from the refrigerator.
  4. Prepare the topping: Whisk the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Cut in the cubed butter with a pastry blender or two forks. Sprinkle the topping over the soaked bread.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown on top. I usually bake it for 45 minutes because I like it softer. Serve immediately. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare the topping in advance, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator. Sprinkle over the soaked bread before baking. For freezing, prepare the recipe through step 4 (without preheating the oven) and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bake as directed. Baked casserole can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up in a 350°F (177°C) for 35 minutes or until warm in the center.
  2. Half Batch: This recipe can easily be halved in an 8 or 9-inch baking pan. The bake time will be slightly less, around 30-35 minutes.
  3. Bread: Day-old, crusty bread is perfect for french toast casseroles. I typically use a loaf of challah bread that I slice and let sit out overnight. You’ll wind up with about 12 cups of cubed bread. A little more or less is OK.
  4. Fruit: Instead of blueberries, try strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries. In the fall, try cranberries or thinly sliced apples or pears. So many options!

Keywords: overnight french toast casserole, blueberry french toast casserole

Unbelievable Blueberry French Toast Casserole! This is the perfect crowd-pleasing make ahead recipe for busy mornings. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

271 Comments

  1. Thank you soooo much for always adding notes with helpful hints and substitution suggestions. You always go above & beyond to bring us so much goodness!

  2. OMG this looks amazing!!!!!! I made a blueberry bread pudding once that’s quite similar and had it for breakfast, so I completely agree with you 😀 Thank you for the awesomeness!

  3. I’ve never had a French-toast casserole before, but I’ve always thought they looked delicious and less high-maintenance than regular French toast 😉 As is so often the case, your recipe inspires me to try it instead of just thinking it’s probably good, haha!

  4. I am SO going to make this for this weekend! OMG! This might even make it to a breakfast-for-dinner Friday night . . . I am so excited to get my first NatureBox which is shipping out today. Thank you for the contest – I am thrilled I won. 🙂

  5. This looks delicious! I am a bridesmaid in a friends wedding, we are going dress shopping Easter weekend and this is the perfect breakfast to start our day off with! Fresh strawberries and mimosas too of course! I think I am going to substitute the challa bread with homemade raisin bread from a local bakery. Can’t wait to try it!

  6. Wow this casserole looks so good! And I love that I can prepare it the night before and bake in the morning, perfect for morning brunch with friends!

  7. Hi Sally! This casserole sounds absolutely delicious!!! Someone mentioned using lemon zest. How about lemon curd on the side? I think that would be lovely. I love blueberry and lemon together. I have never used (or tasted) Challa bread. I am anxious to try it!
    Thanks for the awesome recipe!!
    ~~ Hugs, Jo ♥

  8. I never had a French toast casserole OR breading pudding! I always want to order it, but I flake out. There’s some kind of bread pudding chain I saw on Shark Tank… Almost like a froyo shop. I wish Philly had one because I would go ASAP!

  9. This is amazing! I absolutely adore French toast but sometimes it’s such a pain to coat each individual bread slice in the egg mix. So much easier to throw it all in a pan and bake it! Love this, Sally!

  10. This looks awesome and I’m making it for Easter morning. I have some cream cheese I’d like to add do to it as well…any suggestions on how to do this? Or, perhaps, I could make a cream cheese glaze for the top! This glaze would be good: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/12/24/overnight-cinnamon-rolls/

  11. I like the suggestions for using other fruits, too. This recipe comes just in time! My Dad (age 89!) and I just set out 9 new blueberry bushes, to supplement our 13 other bushes. We’re looking for a bumper crop this year!!! Thanks! Jennifer

  12. I love blueberries! Fresh and fruity and so glorious in a French toast casserole! Yum; your friends were very lucky to get this from you 🙂 Perfect Easter morning treat, too!

  13. Prepping this now. Gonna make it half blueberry and half chocolate chips. My children wouldn’t dare touch a berry. (Insert eye roll here.) Wasn’t sure if it needs syrup, but I bought blueberry syrup. I cannot wait for morning!!!

  14. Just finished devouring this, and it was delicious! I used French Bread but I can’t wait to try it with Sourdough, or Challah if I can get my hands on it!

  15. Oh Sally, this looks absolutely to die for! There’s nothing quite as tasty and fulfilling as a french toast casserole – wish that my mum had known about them when we were kids!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Whole milk is preferred for its rich and creamy texture in the custard. Keeping that in mind, almond milk should be fine.

  16. Made this last night for my coworkers today. Everyone raved about it! I’m usually not a big French toast person…but I think I may have been converted. Thanks!

  17. I made this for family this morning. It was divine! They kept going back for more even though they were full 😉 This week has definitely been filled with your recipes! Chicken noodle soup for dinner last night, this casserole for breakfast. I have your banana bread muffins, apple crisps, roasted click peas, gluten free no bake fudge cookies and peanut butter caramel corn all ready for consumption. Not to mention, some left over home made peanut butter easter eggs from easter I think you would love 😉 . Slowly making my way through your Blog! Made about 40 or 50 of your recipes over the past couple of months since discovering your blog and very much looking forward to my birthday when my mum buys me your first cook book! Thank you so much for sharing your passion and inspiring others. Be encouraged! 🙂

  18. I made this for Easter breakfast for my family. Usually we have eggs, bacon and Easter bread. However, my sister has a gluten intolerance so she cannot eat the Easter bread (and it does not taste good gluten free). She also does not like to eat eggs, so the only thing she has to eat is bacon (not that she was complaining). It just isn’t a lot of food. I made this gluten free by using an Udi’s brand of gluten free and instead of flour in the topping I used gluten free cake mix and it came out amazing! My sister loved it as well as the rest of my family. Thank you so much for sharing!

  19. This recipe is a keeper! I made the casserole for Easter brunch and it was a huge hit. My daughter asked how many eggs I used because she noticed it wasn’t dry like some other recipes I’ve tried. I added an extra handful of blueberries. Also used French bread which worked fine. Will try it with Challah bread the next time because there will be a next time!

  20. OMG, SO good! The title does not lie–this is delicious! (And I don’t even like French toast all that much.) I made it because my son was having a sleepover last night, and it sounded like an easy breakfast to make for hungry boys. It was a with the kids, then they went back to playing. Now I can’t stop nibbling on it! Thanks for a really great recipe. This is going into my recipe box for sure!

  21. I found this recipe last night, Saturday. I showed it to my husband and told him that I was thinking about making this for our Sunday breakfast, but I needed to go to the store. He said, “Great, let’s go!” HA! It is in the oven now and looks wonderful! Can’t wait to try it!

  22. Made this today for my bible study and it was so delicious! I used French bread and frozen blueberries. Baked for 1 hr until it was brown on bottom and crunchy, toasty brown on top. Two people asked for the recipe. Served with a little maple syrup and mixed berries on the side. This recipe is a keeper!

  23. Made this for my son’s rowing meet yesterday and everyone LOVED it! Added diced banana to the blueberries and used half&half instead of whole milk. Doubled the recipe, using 2 loaves of challah and baked for an hour. HUGE HIT with the kids and the parents…seems I have found my staple item!!

    1. I just made this and topped it with some caramelized bananas…it was delicious. I’m not big on custard textures, should I use half & half instead of whole milk the next time? Thank you for posting!

      1. The caramelized bananas on top sound incredible. You can use half-and-half next time if you’d like!

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